Men's Basketball Survives Wild Finish at Eckerd

Men's Basketball Survives Wild Finish at Eckerd
Savad Garner got free for the gamewinning bucket as Barry beat Eckerd on the road by 3. Photo by Jason Roberts

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Barry University men’s basketball team won a wild finish at Eckerd Saturday, 68-65. The Buccaneers (11-3, 2-3 Sunshine Conference) ended a two-game skid in beating the Tritons (9-7, 2-3) for the first time in the past four meetings.

Barry tied the game for the 10th time when Adrian Gonzalez scored at the 6:15 mark. Arie Williams’ 3-pointer put the Buccaneers in front, and Juan Ferrales converted a three-point play at the 4:28 mark to give Barry its largest lead of the second half.

Eckerd cut it to two on E.J. Moody’s layup inside the four-minute mark. After Gonzalez scored again to push the Bucs back ahead six, Eckerd used a 5-0 run keyed by Ray Darnell’s basket and two Moody free throws to take a 65-64 lead. Barry point guard Deric Hill found Savad Garner on the baseline with 13 seconds left as penetrated into the lane and dished off for Garner’s go-ahead bucket.

“Big play,” Barry coach Butch Estes said. “I’m glad to see us make some plays to win the game on both ends of the floor.”

After Eckerd’s Alex Bodney rushed up the floor, Garner came away with a steal, and Hill fed Gonzalez on a runout for a game-sealing dunk. Stevenson’s 3-point attempt from half court banked inside the cylinder and out in a buzzer shot that would’ve sent the game into overtime.

“I was right in line with the shot,” Estes said. “I said, ‘No way.’ Then I said, ‘Please no way.’”

Barry led by seven in the first half when Gonzalez, who scored 12 points, had a bucket to put the Bucs on top, 21-14. But the Bucs, who took a two-point lead into halftime, battled through eight lead changes and seven ties in a back-and-forth game.

Garner had 12 points and seven rebounds. Yunio Barrueta scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half. Darnell finished with 19 points, and Stevenson 13 for the Tritons, who connected on 42 percent of their shots. Barry hit 46.4 percent of its field goals. Both teams combined for 9 of 39 shooting from behind the 3-point arc.

Ferrales had nine points, and Hill nine points, six assists and three steals. Williams had eight points, and Fivelstad eight rebounds, six points and three assists.

Barry will host Lynn Saturday on a day the school will honor Enrollment Management’s department.